EVENT Apr 08
ABSTRACT Apr 08
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True Stories?: Murder, Memory, and Domestic Media

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Organization: UniSQ
Categories: Popular Culture, Gender & Sexuality, Film, TV, & Media, Miscellaneous
Event Date: 2024-04-08 Abstract Due: 2024-04-08

True crime has always been popular, and with the growing accessibility of alternative forms of on-demand media, including streaming services and podcasts, the popularity of the genre has only grown, strengthened by its appeal to the armchair detective and often the invitation to participate in the solution of the crime itself. As Larke-Walsh (2023) observes, the viewer’s compulsion to close the case—or to contest it—testifies to the text’s ‘potential for positive social impact’. Alternatively, Milliken and Anderson argue (2021) that the use of fictional devices in true crime drama raises ethical questions about the exploitation of personal tragedy for public consumption, with true crime often accused of sensationalist reporting, moralising missions, and victim exploitation rather than advocacy. Located at the intersection of these tensions, this collection explores the contemporary infiltration or personalisation of true crime through its myriad associations with domestic media in a range of forms. In particular, this collection is interested in the individual and collective memorialising and forgetting associated with true crime and the ways in which public belief and popular memory are influenced by domesticated modes of media representation. As such, this collection is also interested in the interplay between fact and fiction, and the various inflections and incarnations of horror in true crime media in the Digital Streaming Age.

Topics may include but are not limited to:

  • Netflix Horror and the networked affect
  • Gendered crime and horror in contemporary film and television
  • True crime mania in the digital streaming age
  • Emotion and affect in true crime documentary
  • Binge-watching, binge-worthiness, and binge-ability
  • The glorification and/or commodification of true crime
  • Representations of victimhood and survival
  • Forensic fandom, digital sleuthing, and the culture of detection
  • The remediation of crime and memory across multiple media platforms
  • The ethics of testimony and witness
  • Cultural memory and signal crime
  • Memory, mobility, and the moving image
  • Deadly obsessions, sensations, and embodied responses
  • True crime chronicles, crime revival, and the new nostalgia
  • The rise of serialised storytelling
  • The comforts and pleasures of viewing true crime and horror

Prospective contributors should email an abstract of 200–250 words, along with a 100-word biographical note, to the editors, by April 8, 2024. Abstracts should include the chapter title. For further information and to submit, please email:

Jessica Gildersleeve: jessica.gildersleeve@unisq.edu.au
Professor of English Literature, School of Humanities and Communication, UniSQ

jessica.gildersleeve@usq.edu.au

Jessica Gildersleeve